14 September 1999 - Tuesday

Palm Clone
22:51 pm - Sniper
Wilfred must be drooling over these little sweet things, go check out Handspring's Visor.


Cache and I/O Optimization
19:45 pm - Kan
Our childhood pals over at ArsTechnica posted two articles on Cache and I/O Optimization for NT. You can check from there whether you have your cache settings set correctly under NT.

Each system really requires a different setting.  Not all systems experience the same amount of file I/O operations, and not all systems experience disk I/O bottlenecks in the same way, since processor power, disk access & transfer rate, and memory size play a part in overall performance.  So, be prepared to tweak here and there.  How much improvement can you expect?  Well, let's put it this way - this is a tweak for a true tweaking nut.  You're not going to experience mind shattering improvements, but hey, you're here because you want to squeeze out every juicy drip, right? 

Rising RAM Prices 19:42 pm - Kan
There's an interesting editorial over at AnandTech where Anand explained the recent RAM spikes as well as some info on the coming RDRAM.

The biggest question on everyone's mind (ok, maybe no the biggest but it is definitely an important one) is "what is up with the sharp increase in RAM prices?"  Although I don't have a single "it's his fault" finger pointing answer for you all, I do have quite a few sources that I managed to talk to and quite a bit of information that they provided me with.  There are potentially a number of causes of this DRAM price hike we've been forced to endure and what I'd like to touch on are a few of the most likely (although not necessarily true *cough* disclaimer *cough*) reasons you have to pay over twice as much for a 128MB DIMM now than you did just a few weeks ago.

TerraTec Xlerate Pro 19:40 pm - Kan
Our sound gurus over at 3DsoundSurge posted a review on the TerraTec Xlerate Pro Vortex2 soundcard. So how does it fare? You can check out the rest from here.

TerraTec is most famous for their EWS soundcards. EWS is an acronym for EierlegendeWollmilchSau, a German idiomatic expression literally translated as ‘Egg laying, wool covered milk giving sow’ or, in other words, ‘multifunction’. Multifunction here means a single soundcard that includes the most common requirements for MIDI and music production in a PC environment so it's not a product line aimed for gamers. For the gaming market Terratec decided to launch a new product line XLerate, where the first card called XLerate used the Vortex1 and now XLerate Pro that uses the Vortex2 chip. Let’s have a look at the XLerate Pro.

FXT1: Advance Texture Compression 19:37 pm - Kan
Woo, this is hot! FiringSquad released an article on the freshly announced FXT1 technology to be implemented in the Voodoo4. Now S3TC is finally beginning to see some competition. :)

Now, by taking textures and performing lossy compression algorithms on them, such 2D images can be shrunk down to less than 1/100th the original size, depending on how much detail is preserved (the accuracy of the representation compared to the original image). Using texture compression has two major obvious benefits. The first is storage. If textures are compressed to ½ their normal size, twice as many textures can be used with the same amount of memory, or textures which are twice as big can be used without a performance hit.

Building your own Rig 19:35 pm - Kan
SystemLogic posted Part 1 of the 4 parts article on teaching you how to build your own computer. 

In today's modern era of computing, people who spend money on computers want their computers fast, affordable, but most of all, upgradeable for the future. And it's for that reason that a lot of people that have the knowledge, or want to learn how, builds their own powerful computer setup. In this four part article, I'm going to show you guys how to build the computer of your dreams that will run circles around any kind of retail computer.

DirectX7 Final Release 19:33 pm - Kan
Our buds over at NT Gaming Palace dropped us a line that DirectX 7 Final Release has been released over at the DirectX Premium Site (official beta testers only). A version for Windows 2000 will follow up shortly.

Updated CPU Price List 19:31 pm - Kan
Thank goodness CPU prices didn't go north like RAM sticks. Tech-Review posted a updated price list (updated every Tuesday). You can check out the prices from here.

GlobalWin 802 Case 18:01 pm - Wilfred
Case. That's right. A company more famous for their cooling solutions have gone into the case-making business. So with their main concern in providing top-rate cooling for your PC, is there a transfer of expertise into their new business? Check this review at TheTechZone:

The housing is a very unique shape, design to channel air into the case more efficiently. To make sure it get clean air, Global Win includes a filter at the front of the case

Poll #26: Your Present Printer 17:57 pm - Wilfred
Okie dokie, got my lazy hands to charting the last poll and here you have it. It doesn't surprise that most people are armed with inkjets. Others? Thermal printers? Hmmm...

Asus P3C Announcement In Turkey 17:53 pm - Wilfred
Deadline sent note that the Asus P3C has been announced in Turkey, first anywhere in the world. He's stuck along the URL of this site that has information on the complete variation of the P3C range.  

3dfx FXT1 Texture Compression 17:48 pm - Wilfred
Smacked up on ExtremeHardware's front page is fresh information about 3dfx's latest technology announcement - their very own texture compression algorithm said to have an edge over S3's S3TC due to its higher 8:1 compression ratio. In my excitement, here's a large snip for your reading.

In analyzing the current available texture compression methods (basically only S3TC, which is now DXTC), 3dfx decided that the technology wasn't quite good enough. So, 3dfx went ahead and developed FXT1 Texture Compression. FXT1 is different than other texture compression technologies in that it uses four different compression algorithms. Each texture is broken up into 4x4 or 4x8 texel blocks, and each block is compressed individually. For each texel, all four compression algorithms are used, and the one that produces the highest quality image is used.

FXT1 Texture Compression has a few key benefits. First of all, it achieves an 8:1 compression ratio, which is the best texture compression ratio so far (S3TC/DXTC's is 6:1). Secondly, FXT1's image quality is marginally better than S3TC, although there isn't too much of a noticeable difference. At the press conference, we were looking at blown up images and everyone still had to strain to see the differences in image quality. Either way, the image quality difference between a compressed and an uncompressed image is hardly noticeable, especially in gameplay.

The main benefit to FXT1 Texture Compression is that it is a completely open-source technology. Furthermore, it has cross-platform and cross-API support. Thus, developers aren't limited to using Direct X 6 if they want to use texture compression. Additionally, since FXT1 is open-source, any hardware can support it provided that proper driver adaptation is done.

Summer 1999 SCSI Drive RoundUp 17:43 pm - Wilfred
StorageReview just put up their roundup for this summer's SCSI drives and you'll be curious to know which monster won their editor's choice! Click here right away

Stoopid Name, Cool Card 17:40 pm - Wilfred
As you can always expect, the man always tells it his way. HardOCP reviews the Guillemot MaxiGamer Xentor 32. We've yet to try out any cards from the company, and we'll sure like some hands on in their future products man! Heh! 

This Guillemot Maxi-Gamer Xentor 32 TNT2 Ultra (see) card is one of the most outstanding video cards we have seen and stands very close to getting all the same kudos of the Diamond TNT2 Ultra. I did think the visual quality of the Diamond was a little better but that could arguably be in my head. The Xentor does come with an overclocking utility built as an add-on that is installed independent of the the driver set which is very nice. You can OC on the fly for when you wanna torque your machine for a little gaming and then bring it back to spec for catching up on the latest news.

The overclocking ability of our OEM board was nothing short of phenomenal and the cards ability to handle high AGP bus speeds is very important to us. This is a solid card to choose if you are going to be OCing PIIIs in the future.

22" Of Love 06:22 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme reviewed the 22" of Apple Cinema Display (22" LCD display) which was announced recently with the launch of the new G4. Don't ask me how much it cost, probably an arm plus a leg (throw in a body as well).

At 1600 by 1024, the image on the ACD is razor sharp. For many, the text may be too small at this resolution, however, because the ACD is a LCD, you can sit pretty much as close as you want to the screen without eye-fatigue. There actually are a whole slew of resolutions available that Apple does not list in their spec sheet. The problem with all of these resolutions is that, in order to draw them on the fixed pixels of a LCD, some weird pixel manipulation has to go on. Because of this, the images at all but 1600x1024 look fuzzy and poorly defined. Text is more difficult to read, even when it's larger. Basically, other resolutions may be good for when you want to play Quake III, but 1600 by 1024 is the only resolution worth running in normal use.

SB Live! X-Gamer/MP3 06:07 am - Kan
Hey, this is interesting. Noticed over at AGN Hardware that the guys previewed the SB Live! X-Gamer/MP3 soundcards. Hmm, I've never seen this before locally but basically it is the SB Live! in disguise.

It looks like the new additions to the Creative Family world are coming to a new level with the Sound Blaster Live! X-Gamer and the Sound Blaster Live! Mp3+ format of the sound cards. Even though the drivers are similar to the current Sound Blaster Live!, Creative managed to bring both of the cards to a new level.

EverGreen Spectra 400 Mhz Upgrade Module 06:03 am - Kan
Speedy3D reviewed the EverGreen Spectra 400 Mhz upgrade module which amazingly fits into Socket 5, Socket 6 and Socket 7 motherboards. Experience tells me you are better off with a brand new computer. :)

The Spectra400Mhz is essentially a K6-2-400 CPU from AMD built onto a small circuitry system, this allows you to adapt to older voltage and pin designs. Previous Evergreen CPUs have only been able to boost P75's and upwards to 200Mhz including MMX instructions, a 400Mhz boost is a massive leap forwards. The difference is obviously that being a K2-6 CPU you get 3Dnow! Instructions on-top of existing MMX, in general a more up to date CPU.

Tamiya Radio Controlled Tank 05:23 am - Kan
DansData sent note on an interesting 'review' they performed on a Tamiya radio-controlled M4 Sherman tank. Wow...I used to play with radio controlled cars 10 years ago until I got to know this thing called a computer. Darn, I should have stick to playing radio controlled cars, at least they don't have a 12 months shelf life.

The T-01 DMD Control Unit is a clever little piece of gear. Much larger than most electronic speed controllers but not much heavier, its circuit board packs a Motorola microcontroller, an interesting undocumented "Mode" switch and a total of ten header pins which no doubt also have some interesting function. It's probably made to work in future robotics kits as well as straight R/C.

The T-01's speed controller circuitry has a high drive frequency. Electronic speed controls use pulse width modulation to vary motor power, and the faster they switch the current the gentler they are to the motors they're connected to. The Sherman's motors, at less than full power, sing the distinctive high note of a quality controller.

FPS2000 04:45 am - Kan
Tech-Review dropped us a line about their latest review on the Cambridge FPS2000 speakers.

The major advantage to a high watt specification is power and clarity. The higher the watts, the louder the speakers can go and the less distorted they become. If you turn the volume of your speakers up, you should begin to notice a hissing sound develop. The higher the watt specification, the lower the hiss at higher volumes, enabling your speakers to produce cleaner sound at higher volumes.

ABIT BE6 04:39 am - Kan
Check out the review on the ABIT BE6 over at 3DHardware.net. With support for 8 IDE devices and ATA-66, it was a pretty good board until the recent announcement of the BE6-II.

What really started the ball rolling for Abit is the CPU Softmenu, the graphical system for setting the "jumpers" (the board doesn't have any traditional jumpers for setting CPU speed or bus speed). This allows you to change settings quickly and easily. Want to test the machine at 124Mhz FSB (unlikely to work)? Give it shot, you don't even need to crack the case open. You can also tweak bus speeds, from 66Mhz all the way up to 150Mhz, with some unusual settings included (like 115Mhz). A unique feature of this board is that at 124-150Mhz the PCI ratio is set to 1/4 rather than the standard 1/3.

CyberPower 2000 04:25 am - Kan
TheTechZone has a pretty nice review on CyberPower 2000 (nah it's not a game), a UPS with a 1500VA rating for your computer.

Windows 98 detected the PnP device and asked for the drivers. I popped in the diskette and everything loaded without a single glitch. The software that it installs is called "Power Panel Plus for Power2000." It has an extremely easy to use graphic interface with tons of options, which I suggest you leave most to default. It also places a small icon on the systray (although it says Power99 there).

Athlon/Pentium 3 Price Comparison v5 04:23 am - Kan
CPUReview posted a Athlon/Pentium 3 Price Comparsion guide helping people to see the trend on the prices of the processors and motherboards.

Intel is apparently still a bit worried about losing sales of 500Mhz, 550Mhz and 600Mhz processors with approx. 2%, 7% and 3% price cuts respectively. AMD is feeling quite confident; note the less than 1% price drop at 500Mhz, 550Mhz and 600Mhz.

13 September 1999 - Monday

Playstation 2 Unveiled!
21:40 pm - Wilfred
Whoa! News abound on Sony's successor to their industry leading Playstation. Thanks Kenny Chan for the heads up to this article at Gaming-Age. Here's a pic of the sexy setup box you might soon have to accompany their new WEGA you splurged on!

 

Xtreme Heatsink Review 21:33 pm - Wilfred
For the more adventurous, Ultimate3D has a review on Xample Technologies' Xtreme Heatsink for the Pentium II. It was found to work very well and the reviewer actually upped his Deschutes PII-266 to 448Mhz after performing surgical stunts with his chip.

I have a Deschutes P2 266 that wouldn't run stable at 448Mhz (4X112 @ 2.0v) in any 3D game for more than 2 minutes. I had a AOC P2 cooler on it with a 80mm fan blowing on top of it. After I installed the Xtreme heatsink running alongside the AOC cooler, it can take 448Mhz (2.0v) with ease.

Zap! Your PC Is Dead! 16:56 pm - Wilfred
Information Warfare - from home?! Not bad, imagine a few highly trained IT terrorists walking by my apartment and zapping all my electronics to smithereens! That's drama in low life, but what about the military and medical institutions? See this ZDNet article!

Kyrotech Cooled 800Mhz Athlon 16:42 pm - Wilfred
It never fails to amaze people what super cooling can achieve. But I believe most of you read them knowing for sure that you won't have one sitting as your regular PC at home! FiringSquad has another such article to whet your appetite. Bad!

Phase change refrigeration is five times more effective than forced liquid cooling, and fifty times more effective than a heatsink and fan unit. The KryoTech Cool Athlon 800 system takes the CPU all the way down to a chilly -40°C.

Tiberian Sun 16:33 pm - Wilfred
If you are a real fan, you would have played the game already! But if you're prefer listening to more views about this highly-awaited sequel, then check out 3DSpotlight's review!

Gameplay is what matters most about this game & this is where it excels. Play balance is almost perfect, overall though I’d have to say all things equal GDI should win. NOD are fast & stealthy, GDI are slow but powerful. As in the previous games there is a reliance on destroying the other sides harvester to cut of money supply to them. Bridges add a new tactical element to the game though. In the mission I mentioned above that follows destroying the DAM, destroying the 2 bridges effectively cuts off NOD from you, leaving you only to deal with the odd incursion of NOD subterranean APC’s & Devil's Tongue flame tank. You can then pick of NOD with your air units. Engineers can repair bridges though. The enemy AI makes it a priority to repair damaged bridges.

Sun's Acquisition Of Star Division: Review  16:26 pm - Wilfred
Review an acquisition? Well, yeah! osOpinion has posted a short page of their thoughts on Sun's 2 weeks old purchase of Star Division and their famous StarOffice applications suite. Indeed, it is promising and judging from the fact that it's free, it could make an impact when they get the edges smoothened out.

SuperMicro P6DBE 16:17 pm - Wilfred
Overclockin.com has a review on the above dual processor mobo together with a dual Celeron setup. He managed to get the CPUs up to speed with good stability, not bad!

This board is one of the most stable boards I have tested. I installed Win98, NT 4.0 SP5, Win2k, and RedHat Linux v6.0 and had not a single crash. This can be at least partially attributed to the fact that I could only run at either a 66 or 100MHz FSB, but it is still very impressive. I was able to run this board in a dual configuration using the supplied MSI 6905 v1.1 adapters and the Celeron 300a processors at both 300 and 450MHz with no problems. For fun I also threw in a PIII-450 processor and it recognized it and ran fine. 

The speed of the board was also very good.  Even when running Win98 in a single processor config (Win98 does not take advantage of dual processors...) the speed was impressive. It was definitely at the top of the heap when compared to the other BX chipset boards I have tested.

Palo Alto ATX Mid-Tower 06:56 am - Kan
AnandTech reviewed the Palo Alto ATX Mid-Tower casing. With only two 5.25" drive bays, it's a bit small for me.

Unlike the ATCX, this ATX Mid-Tower doesn't offer the same convertible functionality that made the ATCX such a big OEM win (the ATCX could be converted into a desktop with a different front bezel).  For most users, however, this won't be a big disadvantage if it is one at all, as it is mainly a benefit for large OEMs that have to tailor to the needs and wants of more than one user. 

Do We Need A 128MB Video Card? 06:53 am - Kan
Check out 3DGPU where they posted an interesting article on whether we will need a 128MB video card. I won't be surprised to see 64MB video cards popping out soon.

Having 32mb on a card allows double buffered 32-bit rendering at 1600x1200 resolution. With 128mb, you can probably go to some truly ungodly resolution, and still have a z-buffer, and double buffering. Does this give you any advantages? Not until the graphics processors will run at any reasonable speed above 1600x1200 and until there are monitors that go above that. This was one of the things that made the jump from 8mb to 16mb to 32mb worthwhile, in that you were able to run 3D games in higher resolutions. 

Intel Celeron 433 06:50 am - Kan
The guys over at FullOn3D posted a review on the Intel Celeron 433 processor. They only managed to overclock the processor to 488 Mhz. Not your type of chip eh?

Let’s take a different approach and show the performance of this processor immediately and cover the impressions of this processor later on. I tested the Celeron 433, clocked at 433 MHz and overclocked to 488 MHz (75 MHz bus) and compared it to an overclocked Celeron 300A at 450 MHz. We also decided to take a different spin and test the processor on a VIA Apollo Pro 133, a lower cost solution to the BX, which suits the Celeron line.

Soyo SY-6BA+ III 06:49 am - Kan
I was trying very hard not to post anything this morning, but I just couldn't help it. :) Our buds over at BxBoards posted their thoughts on the Soyo SY-6BA+ III Slot-1 motherboard which is a pretty good and stable board.

CPU setup can be controlled without having to delve inside the case. Multipliers from 2x up to 8x are available and the range of bus speeds have the PCI speed neatly appended. AGP clock speed can be set to auto which means that the AGP clock will always be correctly derived many if not all mainboards still require this to be set by an onboard jumper. Additionally the AGP speed is shown as well, including a scary 100Mhz when the board is operating at 150Mhz. Auto setting will always ensure the correct AGP clock is available, and a 1/1 and 2/3 ratio is also user selectable.

Drakan Review 06:32 am - Kan
Exxtreme3D added another Drakan review to the community. Check it out if you like RPGs in the medieval world.

A magnificent flaming dragon, able to burn everything in it's path, feared by all enemies. Without a story to back it up, however, this would be just another "I can do 3rd person games too" game. Rynn and her brother are out for a walk through the green valleys of the land of Drakan when suddenly orc forces ambush them. Rynn tries to fight them off, but her puny sword is no match to the orcish hordes. Her brother is captured yet Rynn escapes and heads back to her town.

MC100 Peltier CPU Cooler 06:30 am - Kan
If you have a fetish for peltiers, then check out SharkyExtreme new review on the MC100 Peltier CPU Cooler.

One side of the crystalline semiconductor material, or TEC (Thermo-Electric Cooler) becomes extremely cold when activated depending upon what maximum rating it was manufactured to, while the other side of the TEC becomes hot as it draws the heat away.

Using a Peltier propelled TEC ceramic pad for CPU cooling makes a lot of sense when looked at briefly, but the side effects of TEC cooling are somewhat hazardous upon closer examination.

12 September 1999 - Sunday


Hardware-One: Asus P3B-F Review
Wilfred
Yingzong just completed his review on the P3B-F and you would be interested to find out how the P3B stacked up against the competition. A favourite brand amongst many, but with the imminent availability of the Abit BE6-II and BF6, did it win our recommendations?

The P3B-F is a decent board with several interesting new features but really begs the more important ones. It is a good motherboard and performs smoothly without problems but definitely is not a cut above the rest. There is nothing distinct such as step by step FSB adjustment or a setting similarly flexible to allow a much larger range of overclocked speeds. The lack of onboard UDMA/66 support will place the P3B-F behind newly released boards which have it.

Antec Mid-Tower Casing 18:54 pm - Kan
ComputingPros sent note on their new review on the Antec KS-280 Mid-Tower casing. On a side note, have you seen the new ASUS T15 casing yet?

From the specifications and the side view you can see that the case has ample room for any size motherboard. This case supports 3 5.25" drives and 2 3.5", 3 if you don't use a floppy drive. Aesthetically speaking the case is great. The picture can't show you but on the front panel the side edges flair out which looks pretty cool. While I'm discussing the front panel, I liked to point out that the case has good ventilation spots on the front in the form of slits all along the side of the part that flairs out (where the power/reset button is on) and at the bottom. I felt a slight draft of air being sucked in from the vents so I know they work. The front panel also of course has the usual power and reset buttons. It also has a square shaped sunken in section that you can use to place your own company logo.

Linksys EtherFast 10/100 18:51 pm - Kan
3DAlpha just reviewed the Linksys EtherFast 10/100 NIC card. 

The card is a 32-bit PCI card with a WOL connector on it. The card comes with the WOL cable in case your motherboard supports WOL connections that accept "magic packets" that turn the computer on. Included is a very concise six-step installation procedure that is outlined on a packet. Quite useful if you don't want to consult the extremely tiny manual that never stays open instead. Also included, are quick driver installation guides for Windows98 and Windows95 based computers. Quite useful if you're unfamiliar with such processes. After I did a brief overview of the product, I decided I best be installing it.

Next Generation 3D Spec Shootout 18:48 pm - Kan
FiringSquad posted an article called Next Generation 3D Spec Shootout where the fire gals touched on the various techniques used in the new generation of graphics cards we will be seeing shortly.

As you may already know, S3 and Nvidia both announced their upcoming 3D cards last week. S3 announced the Savage2000 last Monday, and worked with a couple S3 fansites and a few general hardware sites (including ours) to have previews ready for the product announcement. The Savage2000 generated plenty on interest, but Nvidia quickly took the limelight away from S3 by starting their hype on their next generation product that same day. 

Sonic Vortex 2 10:08 am - Kan
Speedy3D dropped us a line on their new review of the Sonic Vortex2 soundcard - based on the A3D 2.0 chipset.

These audio extensions are basically attempts by both companies to make their sound card better anyone else’s. EAX adds more effects and since Creative has a lot of marketing power will be supported by more games. A3D’s effects are more realistic than EAX but it has taken a while for games to support A3D. In fact A3D is just starting to gain popularity with A3D 2.0 and their latest sound cards.

Matrox G400 Max 10:05 am - Kan
HotHardware reviewed the sizzling Matrox Millennium G400 Max graphics card. If you are dying to play with dual monitors, this is probably the only card you may want to consider.

In addition, Matrox went the extra mile and one-upped the competition for this round of technology. The addition of Environment Mapped Bump Mapping, "EMBM" for short and VCQ2 Vibrant Color Quality2, should give Matrox the lead in overall image quality until the next generation of cards arrive.  

Building Your Own Athlon System 08:19 am - Sniper
Wow! I never expected a guide like this from the CPU manufacturer. What I can say is that AMD did a good job producing it.

The recommended computer case that you buy can be a complicated mechanism. Take some time to learn how to take the side panels off and put them back on. It is a good idea to ask your salesperson to show you how the case is disassembled and assembled--especially
the installation of the power supply.

Quake Shakes Manhattan 08:06 am - Sniper
This is one very long trip for a Quake player - from Alaska to NY just to play Quake.

Frances Roberts traveled from Fairbanks, Alaska, to New York this week just so she could "frag" the virtual opponents she sees on her computer monitor. 

Linux Roadmap 07:57 am - Sniper
For those who are unfamiliar with Linux but are keen to try it. This article could clear some of your doubts.

SGI is contributing the SMP code and journaling file system from Irix [their Unix variant] to Linux. This is a good thing, because the SMP code in Irix is pure gold. Irix has scaled up to 256 processors before, and while this may be a while coming for Linux, it's more than most
systems will likely even need. A journaling file-system basically tracks changes as they are made, and provides better safeguards against file-system corruption. They've also developed a comprehensive set of Performance Management Visualization tools that may be released open source (if they get enough interest from the Linux community). Yaay! We love SGI, even if they did dump their previously über-cool logo in favor of their new boring one...

DirectX 7 Goes Gold 07:50 am - Sniper
ActiveWindows reported that DirectX 7 went Gold internally and will be released to beta testers soon.

We have confirmation that Microsoft's DirectX 7 has gone Gold internally and is to be released to beta testers soon. At the moment though we do not have a confirmed public release date, but it will be released to the public before the end of the month. The final version number is 4.07.00.0700

11 September 1999 - Saturday

Tired Of Hacks, U.S. Army Switches To Macs
13:21 pm -
Wilfred
Well, this is one headline at TechWeb that caught my attention. It's short, so the entire chunk is here:

After a series of hack attacks, the U.S. Army has switched from Windows NT to Mac OS-based servers running WEBSTAR Web server software for the Army home Page, according to the U.S. Army Public Affairs department. A report in ArmyLINK News says the Macintosh does not offer remote logins and is considered more secure.

Does Twice As Fast Really Matter? 13:12 pm - Wilfred
The announcement of the G4 must have waken some of you, the incredible demonstration wasn't just meant to tell you it is a furious 2X faster than the Pentium III, but the fact that it is 2X faster than the PIII running Intel's own tests. Enuf rambling, osOpinion has an article on this.

Everyone is in an uproar again because Steve said the G4 is twice as fast as the Pentium III. People wake up, even if the G4 isn't twice as fast, MHz for MHz the PPC G4 will still beat the pants off the Pentium on its worst day. THIS IS A FACT. Another thing is apple didn't quote Bytemarks this time instead they ran Intel's own test that they have so proudly displayed on their web site. So if Apple ran Intel's test that they use for the Pentium III on a G4 and still came out ahead, shouldn't that count for something?

Another thing that should be considered is the fact that the demonstration from last week is that the G4 was demonstrated running Mac OS 8.6 with enablers or OS 9 and It wasn't even running OS X. OS 9 is rumored to have some vector engine (Alti-Vec) code in it, but OS X will be able to take advantage of most if not all of the vector engine code. Run this through your mind for a second or two, if the current Mac OS running on a G4 is slicing and dicing Pentium III running windows what do you thing will happen when OS X debut? To semi quote Dennis Leary, "I think you hear me knocking and I'm coming in with a G4 system that will make mince meat of Pentium running windows"

Wilfred MIA 13:32 pm - Wilfred
Expect more of the disappearing act in the coming days. But for now... I've managed to slip away from life to post about stuffs you might enjoy reading. 

Iomega CDRW 11:41 am - Kan
Check out a relatively new site Scott's Hardware Site on their latest review on the Iomega CDRW drive. Hmm, actually I only just found out that Iomega makes CDRW drives too. :)

The installation of the Iomega ZipCD 650 went without a hitch following the enclosed instructions. Simply insert the installation disc, follow the on-screen prompts, watch the optional installation tutorial (for those of you who still may be a bit unfamiliar with the internal workings of your PC) and when you are finished, it prompts you to shutdown your machine so you can install your new drive.

"X" Interview 11:38 am - Kan
Speedy3D interviewed the honcho over at Egosoft on the game "X" which resembles Descent Freespace.

Whenever you do something which is Sci-Fi related, it would somehow be inspired by StarWars and StarTrek one way or the other, unless you lived in a cage for the last decades :) But X-Beyond the Frontier does have it's own universe, and is not related to either of these universes. In the Sci-Fi department I'm personally a fan of the novels written by Isaac Assimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Elite is another story. Our game is not a copy or a sequel to Elite.

ASUS 6600 11:36 am - Kan
3DSpotlight sent note on the new ASUS 6600 graphics card based on the GeForce 256 chipset.

ASUS’ AGP-V6600 is featured with separate engines for transformation, lighting, setup and rendering. It provides a very powerful, highly efficient architecture that delivers 15 million triangles per second. Especially, the integrated Transform and Lighting engine free up CPU bandwidth and allows applications to represent high color quality and texturing special effects at maximum frame rate.

Overclocked Diamond Stealth III S540 11:27 am - Kan
CPUReview sent note on their overclocked Diamond Stealth III S540 review. Lots of benchmarks included, so if you are a die-hard S3 fans, take a look at the results.

As usual, I tried to get a good feel for the performance of the Stealth III S540. I ran a number of popular benchmarks, whose results are reported later in this review. Please note, these are the same benchmarks I've been running for my other video card reviews, so you can compare the results shown in the different reviews on my site.

10 September 1999 - Friday

Mass Orgy @ Forums
23:59 am -
Kan
I've finally whipped our dear artist Virgil to deliver the animated banner you see on the right hand side. So dudes, catch all the orgy and sweat over at our Forum now!

ABIT BE6-II Review 19:28 pm - Kan
SharkyExtreme sure is fast with their new review on the ABIT BE6-II motherboard. Wow, this baby supports up to 200 Mhz FSB !

The biggest change in the BE6-II versus the original BE6 lies in the totally revamped Soft Menu II BIOS controls.

Abit has optimized their popular BIOS menu system to incorporate information and summaries of each switch's function to the right of the page. At first glance the menus look virtually the same as what we're all used to seeing, but once a sub-menu is selected more data is presented about what exactly the purpose of the switch is.

ECTS Highlights 19:31 pm - Kan
SharkyExtreme also updated us with highlights on the ECTS event held in Europe.

ECTS. The high point of the European gaming industry, a showcase for all the great games due in the future, and for many a great opportunity to get horrendously drunk. This year was more of a muted event than previous ones, as Eidos and Virgin had only a small presence rather than the huge stands of previous years, and there were also very few press parties to look forward to this time round (so less of the getting horrendously drunk then).

More Price Cuts from Intel 19:25 pm - Kan
I guess all consumers like us will be smiling whenever Intel announces price cuts

We now have those price details, detailed below. Intel cut prices on several of these parts only one month ago, indicating an aggressive ramp up in the face of AMD competition.

These prices are for boxed parts and include heatsinks and fans. The Celeron 400 drops by $8 to $70, the 433MHz by $13 to $85, the Celeron 466MHz by $13 to $105, and the Celeron 500MHz by $13 to $160.

The Pentium III/450 and the Pentium III/500 prices remain at $185, and $254 respectively.

Meanwhile, the Pentium III/550 drops by $60 to $410, while the Pentium III/600 drops by $50 to $610.

The new Pentium III/533B will be introduced at $380, while the Pentium III/600B will cost $660. ®

3DfxCool Alpha Cooler 19:23 pm - Kan
AnandTech reviewed the new 3DfxCool Alpha Cooler. The twin fans mounted on top are capable of 26 CFM each and they sure pack a serious punch.

For the review, I used an average P3-450, which ran stable at 558Mhz, albeit the CPU temperature was 52.4 °C/126.4 F. Mounting the unit to the P3 was a piece of cake -- apply some heat sink goop and then mount the CPU to the cooler. For the tests, I used two different motherboards, since lately, I have had better success with the AOpen AX6BC Pro Gold board. The ABIT BX6R2 showed some instabilities in other tests I was performing, so I thought it was better to give the cooler a fair chance on a board that is just rock solid.

Intel Confidential Roadmap 19:16 pm - Kan
Check out FiringSquad where the guys posted a internal Intel Confidential Roadmap up to year 2000. This is exciting!

If there's one thing we can all see for the last few months of 1999, it's that Intel isn't the only game in town anymore. In fact, the CPU field is really starting to feel crowded from several different angles. Most recently, Motorola is back in the fringe with their 7400 Microprocessor with Altivec technology? Huh? For the uninitiated, this is actually the Macintosh "G4" chip with "Velocity Engine." 

Enabling ACPI Under Windows 98 19:15 pm - Kan
Our bud pals over at CoolComputing just updated their guide on Enabling ACPI Under Windows 98. If you still do not know how to enable ACPI, do take a look over there.

The "hibernation" mode is especially exciting.   It is part of a feature which Microsoft calls OnNow.  Basically when the computer goes into hibernation, everything in memory is written onto an image file to the hard drive, and the machine is turned off.  But when you turn the computer back on, the image file is loaded and Windows 98 along with your desktop are right there- the actual boot up process is eliminated.  Hiep has seen this work on a Toshiba notebook- when the laptop comes out of hibernation, Windows 98 "loads" in something like 15 seconds. 

P3-550 @ 682 Mhz 19:11 pm - Kan
Darn, 682 Mhz sure is fast! TheTechZone have some juice on how they overclock their P3-550 to a whopping 682 Mhz.

Let me start by saying that Pentium III 550's are reasonably good overclockers. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably smoking too much of the good stuff. I've only had an opportunity to play with 3 of them, two retail and one preproduction unlocked one. The poorest quality one did 644mhz at 2.1 volts quite stably. The unlocked one did 650mhz at 2.1 volts. The good one, the one reviewed here, does 682mhz at 2.2 volts with the proper cooling. With active cooling, nah, I'll speculate on that on the next article.

EverGlide Large Attack Pad 19:10 pm - Kan
More mouse mad madness as Quakecity bring to us a review on the EverGlide Large Attack Pad.

After getting my Everglide Large Attack Pads in the mail, I was anxious to try one out. It's a thick, hard, plastic material (of proprietary origins), with rounded edges and a very slight texture on the top surface. I thought at first the pad was far to 'slippery', and my mouse (Logitech Wingman and Microsoft Intellimouse), slightly dirty at the time, seemed to skitter over the surface too fast... things improved a bit after a thorough mouse cleansing, and after turning down the mouse speed about 15%, it started to feel comfortable.

3D Revelator 19:07 pm - Kan
Our network buddies over at 3aG reviewed the Elsa 3D Revelator glasses. One word of caution, don't play on a full stomach with these glasses on. :)

Now that you know what they are, let me try and tell you how they work. You game has two buffers, right? The front and back buffer. These are basically two slightly skewed images of the same thing. Now, the principal is, if you see one object from two viewpoints, depth is the result. If you close one eye, everything you see if 2D (even though you percieve depth through shading, etc). However, when you are using both your eyes, everything is 3D. 

EasyCD Creator v4 19:05 pm - Kan
Adaptec just sent note on the availability of EasyCD Creator v4 for purchase.

We are pleased to announce that Easy CD Creator 4 Deluxe is now available for purchase.

Adaptec's Easy CD Creator 4 Deluxe includes Take Two, the easy-to-use image-based disaster recovery program that lets you safely backup your system so that you can recover from hard disk disasters. The world's number one CD Recording software now also includes DirectCD, and offers an improved user-friendly interface and an animated guide to help you.  And you can turn authorized MP3 songs into CDs, access the CDDB online Disc Recognition Service to automatically fill in audio CD authors and titles, and edit video clips for customized
movies.

CanoScan USB Scanner 11:50 am - Kan
3DAlpha reviewed the CanoScan FB620U Flatbed scanner. You know, I always like Canon scanners for their sleekness last time.

Installation procedures, are quite easy. Just place the scanner on some surface, anywhere you plan to keep it for easy access, plug the USB cable into the back of the scanner, and route it to the USB port on the back of the computer, then route the power adapter from the back of the scanner to a nearby power outlet to give it some juice.

Creative Labs GeForce 11:44 am - Kan
What do you know, our buds over at 3DHardware.net sent note on their preview on the Creative Labs GeForce graphics card.

With GeForce256, the chip does all T&L calculations itself, thus rendering a fast CPU useless for gameplay. This has set a new standard with 3D gaming as we see it, no longer will you have to use the latest CPU in order to get fast framerates. 

Twin Turbo Cooling 11:32 am - Kan
Our hard pals over at HardOCP just posted another new review on the Twin Turbo exhaust fan which basically fins into a floppy slot and exhaust air out.

I happened to mount mine as close to the mainboard as possible facing down.  I figured it would help catch some of the heated air before it rose all the way to the top of the case.  I did have a problem with the mounting hardware included.  It would not work with my Addtronics 7890 series case.   But that is the case's fault.  It has those funky slide in and out bays and the holes did not line up correctly.  I just went ahead and stuck it in and it sits just fine there. 

Dual Monitor Support 11:28 am - Kan
New article over at ComputingPros on how to setup a dual monitor system under Windows 98.

So now lets move onto the actual hands on part here. The first thing you'll want to do is install the 2nd video card and hook it up to the 2nd monitor. Always make sure you're grounded when handling sensitive electronics equipment like your video card. This can be accomplished by using antistatic wrist bands. Your primary video card if you're setting up an AGP/PCI system will be whatever you specify in your BIOS to load up for display. You'll notice in your BIOS settings that you can choose which to output to first.

Drakan Review 11:27 am - Kan
We have another review on Drakan straight from our gang leader over at FiringSquad.

One of the biggest features in Drakan is that it combines two distinct styles of action. It's all in 3rd person and 3D, but part of the game you'll spend in hand to hand combat (swords, axes, polearms, etc.), while the other half is spent riding the back of your trusty dragon, Arokh as you shoot fire, ice, lightning, and more at your enemies. The gameplay for both of these modes is truly unique. All of this is presented through the breathtaking RIOT engine, and controlled through a nifty interface that's easy to learn.

 

9 September 1999 - Thursday

Net's Birthday
23:35 pm -
Sniper
We have all come to take the Net for granted, may it be email, irc or web browsing.  I guess we never think when it's birthday was.  Now we might really know.

Multiple OS Installation Guide 23:30 pm - Sniper
This guide from Systemlogic is for you if you run several OSs or intend to do so.

On the negative side, it can be annoying switching between OSs frequently. Imagine you are in Windows 98 and then suddenly realize you need to use 3D Studio MAX, which is on your NT partition. You would have to stop what you are doing and reboot the computer into NT. This can be a time consuming process. Another problem is multiple copies of the same program. For example, you may have duplicate copies of your anti-virus program in different OSs. Also, setting up a multiple boot can be complicated.

BIOS Settings for Overclocking 15:30 pm - Kan
We have another new BIOS guide as TheTechZone whipped up an article teaching you the optimum settings for overclocking.

Perhaps one of the most widely asked questions is "What settings should I use in my BIOS for overclocking?"  Well, there are no hard and fast rules for this.   In general, there are always going to be compromises between speed and stability.   What this article shows is what the fastest settings generally are, and gives some suggestions for which to use when overclocking.

Drakan 15:28 pm - Kan
3DSpotlight posted their thoughts on the game Drakan.

The game begins when a band of angry Wartok has burned the main character, Rynn’s village down. She then finds Atimar, the village priest, lay dying.

With his last words he tells Rynn that the Wortok have taken her brother, Delon. Rynn’s quest is to rescue here brother with the aid of a fellow dragon she meets her way. The dragon, Arokh was broken from stone and bound with Rynn to help her on her quest to free her people.

S3 Savage2000 15:26 pm - Kan
More S3 goodies as our buds over at iXBT sent note on their latest review. Do check out their review, you will love it.

In fact, Savage2000 appears to be the first, which can boast two key architectural solutions already realized: single-pass Quad-Texture engine and S3TL. The first one is a graphics engine, which allows superposing four textures: two over one displayed pixel per time step. Moreover, there is also a regime when all the four textures are superposed over one single pixel simultaneously. Note that this option (four textures superposition) isn't yet supported by the applications but it is a very good step forward, which will be very useful in the future. It is worth mentioning here that the possible appearance of a new technology can't be completely excluded. Namely we mean the technology when the rendering is effectuated by two pipelines simultaneously in two different frame buffers and then the results obtained are combined and displayed on the monitor.

Liquid Cooling your CPU 15:23 pm - Kan
Children, don't try this at home. It can be dangerous. SysopSolutions sent note on their Liquid Cooling project. Rather interesting, and if you are those diehard (die harder) overclockers, do take a look.

Once this liquid picks up the heat produced by the Peltiers it has to be cooled before it is re-introduced to the heat exchanger. Here is where our closed loop system kicks into action. The pump now forces the warm liquid through our radiator assembly manufactured to have multiple passages throughout an aluminum core with alternating corrugated fins and flat tubes. The heat transfer capacity is further aided by two large AC fans. The radiator accomplishes cooling the liquid which is then re-circulated in the system, preparing it again for the heat exchange from the Peltiers. And so the cycle continues...

Fillrate vs T&L 15:18 pm - Kan
FPS3D sent note on their new article on Fillrate vs T&L. In case you don't know what T&L stands for, it's Transform and Lighting.

Although nVidia claims that the GeForce is a completely new architecture, in many ways it is just TNT2 X2 + Hardware T&L. That may be oversimplification, but you get the point. nVidia hasn't done a "ground up" design since the original TNT, but they label each TNT generation as just that.

ABIT BE6.2 15:15 pm - Kan
Our buds over at HardOCP just posted some naked pics of the new ABIT BE6.2 motherboard. How does 100 FSB settings sound to you? Darn, don't you love it when you have something to play with? *hint hint*

Java-killer Cool 09:00 am - Sniper
The Register reported that the Microsoft will be releasing a 'Java killer' object-oriented language soon.

Cool isn't a language in its own right -- rather, it's a series of extensions to C++ designed to make C++ as easy to program as Java, in the hope that programmers will, frankly, stop using the Sun product. The technology comprises a programming framework that will hook into the next version of Microsoft's Common Object Model, COM+, part of Windows 2000. 

Aladdin TNT2 08:46 am - Sniper
Another one of those combo chipsets integrated onto motherboards. This time from ALI. Have a look!

ALI and Nvidia jointly introduced the Aladdin TNT2, a
chipset the companies co-designed and which combines
Nvidia's Riva TNT2 core with an enhanced ALI Aladdin Pro
II chipset for Slot 1-based desktop PCs. The integrated
chipset is the first fruit of the Nvidia-ALI development
relationship that was officially acknowledged only three
weeks ago. 

TNT2 Vs M64 08:42 am - Wilfred
The boys at Voodoo Extreme mailed us about their short writeup comparing these two chipsets from nVidia. The M64 is an interesting part that will appeal to those without deep pockets or those holding out till the GeForce256, Savage2000 and 3dfx's Napalm deliver their 'revolutionary' promise! Oh, if you're into Q3A then may I suggest you pass the M64 to avoid disappointment? :)

Having just announced the groundbreaking GeForce256, normally one would assume that nVidia would have put all of their muscle (since the TNT2 was released) into this upcoming flagship product, in order to hopefully come out on top when the fourth-generation wave hits this Christmas season. After all, that’s what they’ve done every other time, eschewing the RIVA 128 in favor of the TNT, and the TNT in favor of the TNT2. However, nVidia has taken a slightly different approach this go-around.

What we have seen for the first time from this pack leader is the release of a cheap, low-end video card, based on a detuned version of their flagship product, just before the announcement of the next generation.

Whew! Anybody Hurt? 08:38 am - Wilfred
Ok, judging from the response in the forum, most of us in this time zone must have came off unscathed. But don't you take that for granted! Though I haven't come across news blips of catastrophes, let us just remain hopeful that the rest of civilization will slip pass this pre-millennium glitch. Ouch!

Globalwin FEP32 Cooler 06:53 am - Kan
There's also a review of the Globalwin FEP32 cooler over at High Performance PC Guide. This new cooler is slimmer and two of it would fit into the BP6 just right!

The FEP32 was designed for installation on the Abit BP6 dual processors Celeron PPGA, because the large FDP32 cannot sit side by side in the restricted space between the two processors. Similarly, the FDP32 does not necessarily sit comfortably on board using socket 7 or socket 370, because often capacitors near the processor obstruct the available space. In this case, the FEP32 is a boon, due to its smaller surface area, while permitting near equally efficient cooling. To give you a better idea, the FEP32 covers a surface area of 66mm by 60mm, or 3960mm square by 44mm in height.

Globalwin P3 Cooler 06:52 am - Kan
3DRage reviewed the Globalwin P3 cooler. Well, I will still prefer the Alpha P125 cooler (I have a fetish for sizes). :)

Utilizing the default heatsink and fan, my Pentium III 450 ran stable at 527Mhz at 2.2 volts. Not to shabby, but I think we can do better:) When I disassembled the heatsink and fan on the Pentium III and installed the Globalwin package I couldn't wait to see the results. I quickly went into Softmenu II and set it to 560Mhz, when before it would freeze at the Windows flash screen. I first tried the default 2.0 volts, but that didn't work out too well, as it was still frozen at the Windows splash screen.

Odium 06:50 am - Kan
Exxtreme3D reviewed the game Odium. Not my type of game, but it does sound interesting, so just in case it appeals to you! =)

Your mission, if you choose to accept it (sorry for Mission Impossible rip-off), is to infiltrate a city on the brink of destruction. You are Lieutenant Cole Sullivan, and you are going to lead a team of specialists on an adventure that will test your strategic mettle. Following an obscure lead, your team of specialists has tracked down a spy-training facility in Poland. An exact replica of a typical U.S. city, this "secret city," named Gorky 17, had been presumed abandoned since the end of the Cold War.

SB Live! Platinum 06:45 am - Kan
Gosh, this is sizzling as 3DHardware.net brings us a preview on the new SB Live! Platinum soundcard. Hope I don't have to junk my SB Live! so soon!

The benefits of the Digital I/O card are obvious and give users the possibility to output sound digitally, bypassing the DAC, (which normally degrades quality) directly to digital speakers/recorders etc. What many people are frustrated about though is the fact that the Digital I/O card can only be installed in one of the slots in the back of the computer thus occupying one slot space (be it ISA or whatever). But more importantly (for those who use the Digital I/O on a regular basis) is the connectivity and easy access issue as you are forced to reach all the way back in order to plug in instruments and equipment. Since the first release of the Digital I/O there has been a tremendous demand for a frontpanel drive bay that would solve practically all the access problems.

MX300 vs SB Live! 06:43 am - Kan
Clash of the titans as 3dWars did a thrash out on the MX300 vs the SBLive!. It's been quite a while since both cards were released, so aside from how they degrade game performance and how much they boost a game's immersiveness, I think more importantly is how much support have they gotten from game developers that actually harnessed the cards' powess. 

Diamond and Creative Labs have always been neck and neck with each other. Whether it is graphics cards or sound cards, they both chose to make high-end multimedia solutions. Yet, this time, Creative Labs developed its own technology whereas Diamond used the highly acclaimed Vortex 2 chip. Creative’s path was to create an audio ‘powerhouse’ that supported every feature there was known to PC Audio. As for Diamond, they chose to create a solution that modeled the 3D sound around the actual in-game environment, which created a whole new mode of game play.

Mac vs PC 06:41 am - Kan
SystemLogic posted an editorial on Mac vs PC computers. Sorry, but I still like Microsoft (my NT just crashed again. duh?!).

Back in the days of System software and Windows 3.1, Windows 3.1 was considered the most popular OS out there. Now there's Mac OS 8.6 and Windows 98 with Mac OS 9 and Windows 2000 around the corner in the near future. After comparing the two in certain tests, by formatting both platform's hard drives, and restoring them, I found that in crash tests that the Mac OS 8.6 crashed only once vs. Win98 crashing a total of 8 times when both were compared in a two hour period. Just so you guys know, I used BYTEmark benchmark tests. So in Crash Tests, the Mac wins out against the PC.

Shadow Man Review 06:36 am - Kan
Speedy3D sent note regarding their new review on the game Shadow Man. Also, you can catch their full ECTS'99 report over at here. Included are pics of sexy babes, so don't miss'em. :)

Like many others out there we were privileged to get a look at the GeForce card on show at Creatives Booth. If you ever thought the PSX2 was going to beat the PC by the time it launches at 3D Graphic Operations then think again as the GeForce is easily just as fast as the PSX2's hardware. We were shown several technology demos (no that's not me on the left, doh!, or right, doh!), one which featured a bumped mapped sphere that had the ability to water like morph into weird other objects.

BIOS Optimization Guide 4.1 06:12 am - Kan
Adrian updated his BIOS Optimization Guide, upping it to version 4.1. Included in this new release are some info on the AGP Aperture size and Master/Slave drive Ultra DMA.

 

8 September 1999 - Wednesday

HP PolarLogic ArctiCoolers
23:34 pm -
Wilfred
Wowzers! I'm running out of time? No way! Gotta post about this! Thanks to Kyle for sending note on this! Looks like we have a new generation of coolers coming our way! You will be interested to read about its development since 1995 when it is deployed for use in HP's PA8000 processor. This is seriously COOL stuff!

9 September 99 22:35 pm - Wilfred
It's coming! The clock is ticking and we're 1.5 hours away! One big day that have many of our local IS people on standby. Maybe I'll have my savings quadrupled (shucks! even that is pathetic!)... Even if the world ends (prematurely), VIVA La RESISTANCE lives on!!! =)  

Palm Clone Coming!! 22:30 pm - Wilfred
Wow! Sounds like a big thing for PDA users out there! You won't know why there are die-hard fans of 3Com's Palm devices till you used one. Now, Handspring Inc, founded by ex-Palm Computing duo, will launch Visor - a device based around Palm OS 3.1 but CHEAPER, FASTER and MORE EXPANDABLE. Now don't we like the sound of that? It's going to be as small, as user-friendly... I can't think of anything else. Colour maybe? Here's the story from ZDNet:

The Visor handhelds will utilize the processor, lithium-ion battery and improved LCD screen from 3Com Corp.

Handspring has developed a number of new touches, such as a new Palm-III like form factor that includes a built in microphone and a slot that can accommodate a range of peripherals, called Springboard modules. The peripherals or modules will include a number of devices, ranging from pagers to MP3 players to voice recorders. Cellular phone modules are also expected, sources said.

The Springboard modules will offer plug-and-play, sources said -- meaning that a user can slide a peripheral into the Visor and have it up and running quickly, without installing software on the device. The modules, for the most part, will carry their own power supplies, so that they will not wear down the batteries of the device itself.

An optimized hardware design will make the Visor faster than the current line of Palm handhelds.

At the same time, Handspring did some work to optimize the datebook and calendar applications, sources said.

Y2K & Nuclear Holocaust? 17:42 pm - Wilfred
If anyone reassured that you won't end up with an empty bank account at the turn of millennium, then just trust him for once... THERE ARE OTHER THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT! From this article at Yahoo! News, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported that 28 out of 103 nuclear power plants recently failed Y2K testing. Duh? If situations are ONLY so rosy in the States, then what about the Russian plants?

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday that 28 nuclear power reactors need to upgrade their computers to avoid possible Y2K computer problems, though none of the work still to be done involves computer safety systems.

The commission said 75 of the nation's 103 operating nuclear power reactors were completely Y2K-compliant and it believed there would not be any problems with the remaining facilities becoming Y2K compliant before year end.

Voodoo 3 3500TV 17:34 pm - Wilfred
The Sharks will not let anything by without tasting it themselves. The Voodoo3s are still very good buys if your concern is super quick gaming today! Outfitting their fastest 3500 flagship with additional frills only makes it more enticing? Or are they worth burning the extra bucks?! Read this!

Outputting your Voodoo3 3500 video to your TV is a bit more problematic. I was experimenting with the functionality and found that while it will work properly for most applications and games, there are still issues with screen placement when displaying certain resolutions. Disconnecting your monitor and using your TV as the primary output device is also not recommended as I had an unsatisfactory hit-or-miss ratio with getting the screen to display. When the TV-out works, it works very well and I did have some success watching DVD movies and other movie file formats. Since the Brooktree chip has been used successfully with other cards, I'm hoping that 3dfx improves the Voodoo3 3500 drivers and works out some of the TV-out problems.

Psion Announces New Series-7 Machine 17:18 pm - Wilfred
Nice! Psion just announced a new sub-notebook size computer that packs a heavy punch squarely aimed at the WinCE-based PCs like the HP Jornadas.

Psion announced the Series 7, the latest offering to mobile professionals everywhere. With it comes Psion’s first large full-colour screen, bigger keyboard and PC card slot. Encased in leather, the sub-notebook sized Series 7 delivers the best specifications all round: it has a full touch-type keyboard, a large memory, 8½ hours battery life, boasts the fastest processor of any of the Psion family and improved communications. Loaded with the latest built-in Psion software, including full Internet connectivity, email, word-processing, spreadsheet, a powerful and flexible time manager and comprehensive contacts database, the Series 7 has the core functionality of the award-winning Series 5mx.

PIII-450 Are Underclocked 600Mhz? 17:09 pm - Wilfred
Terry of Hardware Extreme sent note that because Intel is fast phasing out the low-end PIII-450 & 500 chips, and demand for the chips are still high, it is packaging underclocked PIII-600mhz chips as PIII-450mhz! Whoa! Well, gotta look for the SL35D!!!!!!

As you should most probably know, Intel is already going to discontinue the PIII 450 & 500 real soon. Despite their quick phase out of the once popular flagship processors to make way for the later 133MHz models - the demand for the PIII 450 is still high. To solve this problem, Intel is currently downclocking (can't think of a better word) their PIII 600 chips to a 4.5X multiplier to make PIII 450s.

The SL35D PIII 450 I have just recieved is of the same kin. It shares the same SEC 4ns L2 cache as it's 600MHz brother. I managed to get it to boot into Windows 98 at 600MHz without a heatsink/fan! Well... It wasn't really stable as you might have guessed but hey - NO COOLING!

So what does this all mean? It basically means that we will soon be able to ditch out some 600MHz action flawlessly from the PIII 450 models if you manage to get hold of one of these "downclocked" PIIIs. I hope this will come in handy for you to share with all your visitors. Remember that the stepping is SL35D. Before running out and getting one though, check to see that it has 4ns SEC L2 Cache!

Wilfred Coughs 17:05 pm - Wilfred
Arrgghhh freeeak! Can't concentrate on my work and decided to update Hardware-One again! Dammit! I lose, you gain! =)

Abit BE6-II And BF6 Specifications Sheet 13:35 pm - Wilfred
Abit just sent down the specifications sheet of the 2 boards they just announced, and we have them published here. Check out what the BE6-II and BF6 will have to offer! Here's a quote from Abit:

"Both will have new features which make the boards even more handy to use. Not to mention that the clock generators will support 1 MHz steps between 84 and 200MHz!"

Epox MVP3G2 Super7 ATX 13:11 pm - Kan
Another motherboard review from the AnandTech.

Just like the original MVP3G-M, the MVP3G2 (referred to as the G2 from now on) boasts the same 5/2/1 expansion slot configuration (PCI/ISA/AGP) that made the original board such a hit among Super7 users.   Of the 8 physical slots (7 usable) only one PCI slot is capable of accepting a full length card.  The other four are either blocked by the front panel connectors or the poorly placed floppy drive connector.  Conversely, both of the ISA slots are capable of accepting full length cards. 

Shuttle Hot687 Socket370 13:04 pm - Kan
HotHardware reviewed the Shuttle Hot687 Socket370 motherboard. This is one of those mini-ATX motherboard with only 3 PCI slots and onboard sound chip.

If you're like me and you have a choice between CPU voltage changes via the BIOS and jumpers, you go with the former. Jumper jockeys rejoice, you have plenty to play with here. A jumper of note is JP5 a.k.a. "Factory Reserved". You need to remove this jumper in order to overclock the cpu. The layout is straight forward and the pudgiest of fingers will have room to work. The power connector is nicely moved out of the way of your cpu etc... Pretty much standard practice for Shuttle. Three fan connectors with monitoring capabilities are positioned properly on the board. 

Dreamcast Review 12:55 pm - Kan
For once, we get things faster than our US counterparts. The Dreamcast which was out long ago over here is finally available in the US and you can count on our pals over at FiringSquad to give you a glimpse of this baby.

This Thursday, Sega will officially be launching their Dreamcast console in the United States. Refusing to make the same hardware mistakes of the past such the Saturn's embarrassingly underpowered 3D graphics, Sega has instead enlisted the technological wizardry of NEC and VideoLogic. For the CPU, Sega chose Hitachi's SuperH-4 RISC CPU. For the audio and optical storage technology, the specialists at Yamaha were called upon.

G400 13:17 pm - Kan
AGN Hardware reviewed the Matrox G400 graphics card. Dual head capabilities and TV-out, it sure is attractive. 

The G400 also includes an impressive version of TV-Out, with up to 1024x768x32 support for output to your TV. Most of the competition supports 800x600, but honestly I have seen that even that resolution is to high. Usually if I plan on TV-Out with the TNT2 or others, I lower the resolution to 640x480 so I can actually get better looking output. The G400 on the other hand can work fine at 800x600x32, giving a great looking picture that provides a new level of gameplay. Even though the video card does support 1024x768, I have to admit that the quality is not exactly perfect, something you can blame the TV on instead of the card developer.

3D Prophet Press Release 13:11 pm - Wilfred
Okie Dokie. Htmled the press release sent down from Guillemot for you! Check out their latest announcement on the nVidia GeForce256 based card - 3D Prophet.

3D Prophet offers 32MB onboard RAM, a 350MHz RAMDAC and TV-Out capabilities for excellent image playback of DVD titles or games. Built with the Geforce 256 GPU, 3D Prophet features a 256-bit rendering engine, a hardware transform engine, a hardware lighting engine and a four-pixel-per-clock pipeline generating an unprecedented 15 million triangles per second and more than 480 million pixels per second! 3D Prophet also supports AGP 4X with Fast Writes and the most advanced supports for OpenGL* and Microsoft's* new DirectX* 7.0 features such as cube environment mapping, vertex blending and projective textures. The card is also optimized for software DVD acceleration and video playback.

FragTape 12:59 pm - Wilfred
The man at HardOCP decided you might want to achieve this (see pic below) without the hassle of glue and what not! So check out his review on the FragTapetm, a thermally conducting and electrical insulating adhesive tape!

RC5 Blabber 12:35 pm - Sniper
I like to take this opportunity again to thank all those who are contributing to our RC5 efforts.  So those of you who have not join us do consider.  I like to stress again that our address for RC5 is [email protected]The fact is that if you were to configure your client with the wrong address, the generated blocks will not come to us.

So to lessen the pain seeing these blocks go to waste, I've configured a client with the correct settings for download. All you have to do is to unzip the file (hyperlinked on the right column) to a directory and run it.  Once again, thanks!

Sharky's Private Eye: Volume III
11:14 am -
Kan
Guys, don't miss this out as SharkyExtreme spied around in the IT industry to bring you the latest news. How does the new "Tejema" 1.2 Ghz processor and Camino2 chipset sound to you?

Several sources pointed out the fact that Slot-A is not going to have (at least on the lower-end) a long lasting life for the Athlon as AMD plans to move to a socket based Athlon 'Select' launch next year for the low-end. The Socket 423 (number of pins) could change and plans are to build more capacity for memory and integrate an 8MB L2 cache (at the high end). You can expect Gigabyte, ASUS and MSI et al. to be releasing socket based Athlon motherboards in Q1 of next year. More good news for AMD comes as the company has allegedly gotten their Dresden factory online, thus the shift to .18micron happening by late November is rapidly becoming a distinct possibility. Bearing in mind that the Athlon 700 is due to start shipping in October, AMD looks certain to grab yet more attention.

133Mhz Motherboard Shoot-out 09:00 am - Sniper
3Dhardware.net have published a motherboard shootout between the AOpen AX63 PRO and the SOYO SY-6VBA.

Apollo Pro Plus (VIA's answer to Intel's 440BX, and almost identical to it), the Apollo Pro 133. This chipset is pretty much the same as it's younger sibling, apart from two
very important things. It supports the craved after 133Mhz FSB properly and AGP 4X. To make things even better, the chipset has ATA66 support which none of Intel's chipsets apart from the low-end intended 810 support.

GeForce 256 Introduction 08:54 am - Sniper
The Tech Zone has posted an 7 page article on NVIDIA's new GeForce 256.

The "Ge" in the name is for Geometry (with a capital "G") and the 256 represents the fact that the architecture is of a 256 bit design. The 256 bit architecture should be helpful for operating at resolutions above 800x600, though it seems that the external memory interface may still be 128 bits wide with the internal bus being 256 bits wide. This is an important issue when comparing the chip to the upcoming Savage 2000 part from S3. 

Another GeForce 256 Tree Demo Comparison 08:47 am - Sniper
Another GeForce tree demo comparison.  This time by SystemLogic.  Anybody managed to get more than 10 frames on it?

As for being the first card I tried the demo with, it looks pretty damn good. It ran slow, ESPECIALLY when turning the depth on and adding more leaves. Also when you
move up closer to the leaves. But the lighting seemed to look pretty good, although you still notice a pretty decent difference in quality with the GeForce 256. 

 

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